Definition of portfolio in English:



  • 1A large, thin, flat case for loose sheets of paper such as drawings or maps.

    ‘under his arm he carried a large portfolio of drawings’
    • ‘Are such competitions, and paper portfolios in general, worth the trouble?’
    • ‘She puts several papers in a portfolio, throws her purse over her shoulder, and walks to the door.’
    • ‘He snatched up his jacket and the leather portfolio.’
    • ‘From her portfolio she pulled an envelope and handed it to him.’
    • ‘In 15th-century collections, mostly on paper in portfolios, religious and profane elements intermingle.’
    • ‘All work is done on drawing paper that fits neatly inside each student's portfolio.’
    • ‘‘Thanks,’ he said, taking the drawings and putting them into his portfolio.’
    • ‘Jen laughed and pulled out a tape from the portfolio bag she was carrying.’
    • ‘Leave your briefcase at home and prove your fashion sense with one of these workbags, from messenger bags to portfolios.’
    • ‘His fingers lost their iron grip, and the portfolio with the drawing paper fell to the ground, with my portrait landing at my feet.’
    • ‘He also inadvertently took copies of actual classified documents in a leather portfolio, they said.’
    • ‘Aubrey placed the drawing back into his portfolio; taking care to put it in a special folder, separate from his normal drawings.’
    • ‘Some will be held up, magnified and singled out for attention later while others will line binders, file drawers, photoboxes, portfolios and remain hidden away.’
    • ‘They all carried various kinds of large portfolios and book bags.’
    • ‘I took my favorite drawings out of the portfolio and hung them as well.’
    • ‘Then she started picking up folders, portfolios, drawings, papers, everything important that she could find and locked it in her cabinet.’
    • ‘She stuffed all the other papers back into the portfolio, and walked out of the office, only to forget to close the doors behind her.’
    • ‘Mohammed grabbed the portfolio, taking out a few packets of paper.’
    • ‘Our drawing is inside the portfolio he is holding in his arms.’
    • ‘The bell rang for class change and I got up from the table, placing my work in my portfolio and carrying it with me out into the crowded hallway again.’
    file, binder, ring binder, portfolio, document case
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1A set of pieces of creative work intended to demonstrate a person's ability to a potential employer.
      ‘she had a portfolio of crayon portraits’
      • ‘Sculptor Charles Long showed a wonderful portfolio of Iris prints that seemed to replicate a notebook.’
      • ‘The best piece in her portfolio was a packaging program for an imaginary cd release: packaging, advertising, posters.’
      • ‘His business portfolio is well documented and the fact that he isn't tied to a 9 to 5 routine greatly enhances his ability to take on a job that will entail long trips from Kerry to Westmeath.’
      • ‘Next, she had to supply a CV and a portfolio of work containing before-and-after pictures of various nail techniques.’
      • ‘Since earning her graduate degree from Yale only two years ago, Katy Grannan has compiled an impressive portfolio of portraits.’
      • ‘In the midst of this fabulous display the patron and other gentlemen examine a portfolio while a young art student draws from the assembled works.’
      • ‘He carries a large portfolio, apparently filled with images and evidence of his appointment, during this period, as an historian of art.’
      • ‘We talked about her work, about sculpture, and leafed through her portfolio.’
      • ‘They had heard stories of how the feisty old lady used to attack photographers, clobbering them with her heavy portfolio of art or chasing them for half a block down the street.’
      • ‘Derek received his certificate after submitting a portfolio of images demonstrating his unique style of portrait and wedding photography.’
      • ‘In general, portfolios contain two types of information: activities/achievement and evidence for reflection.’
      • ‘He decided to publish a book of his various works after assembling a portfolio that spans several decades and several coasts.’
      • ‘A professional art consultant should have brochures, a portfolio of completed jobs and a client list.’
      • ‘Part of their course work involves creating actual marketing pieces for their portfolios.’
      • ‘When we first asked him what he was capable of for political satire, he sent us the piece below as his portfolio.’
      • ‘Gary Engle, a self-taught artist, explains that the heart of his portfolio consists of images of nature that lean toward abstract expressionism.’
      • ‘For individuals interested in the creative side of advertising, having a portfolio of work that reflects your creative thinking ability is a must.’
      • ‘He receives 5,000 portfolios from artists each year, and, after reviewing them, he may end up visiting only 50.’
      • ‘He didn't keep me waiting and he sat with me for a long time, looking through my portfolio, reading my statement, asking me questions.’
      • ‘I've walked into a variety of galleries with my portfolio and asked them to give me two minutes of time.’
    2. 1.2A varied set of photographs of a model or actor intended to be shown to a potential employer.
      ‘entrants must not have done any professional modelling or have an existing portfolio’
      • ‘All his memories remain razor sharp thanks to his portfolio of photographs.’
      • ‘Among her portfolio of winning photographs were shots taken in York at the Station Road War Memorial and at Knavesmire during the floods of 2000.’
      • ‘She came back with a wonderful portfolio of photographs, I mean really gorgeous things, and it was just too good an opportunity to pass up.’
      • ‘The payoff for designers is public exposure, beautiful photographs for a portfolio, and the opportunity to spread their creative wings.’
      • ‘She has worked energetically on her own portfolio of photography, sculpture, installation art and film.’
      • ‘Their evident power and liking for sharp foreign suits even earned them a place in the portfolio of photographer David Bailey.’
      • ‘She had just had a portfolio of modelling photographs taken and was waiting to hear from an agency in Liverpool.’
      • ‘This portfolio of photographs gives a quick sketch of Bangladesh and those trying to bring power to the people.’
      • ‘Mark then started hiring models from agencies to photograph for his own portfolio.’
      • ‘Usually, Sunder does the portfolio for models.’
      • ‘Even when someone suggested that he gets a portfolio done for modelling, he was too hesitant to ask his father.’
      • ‘They said if I wanted to try photographing people some more, they would look at my portfolio again.’
      • ‘Torbjørn Rødland is a video and still photography artist with quite an interesting portfolio.’
      • ‘This caters, among other things, to people who want ‘marriage proposal’ photos and models who want their portfolios done.’
      • ‘Sivaram, for whom photography is a hobby, selected river related photographs from his portfolio.’
      • ‘Taiwan is a very attractive place to acquire models to complete our portfolio.’
      • ‘The others are more general, and all of them are interspersed with portfolios of photographs by various photographers.’
      • ‘The photography portfolio of my exceptionally talented and lovely friend Jeanna Nash.’
      • ‘Is it a photograph that will go in my street photography portfolio and likely be displayed in my next exhibition.’
      • ‘We pay for our own photographs for our portfolios, and then for the hours and hours we need to be just available.’
  • 2A range of investments held by a person or organization.

    ‘a portfolio of insured municipal securities’
    • ‘Diversification eliminates much unnecessary risk within an investment portfolio or strategy.’
    • ‘The rule sounded like a great idea a few years ago, when investment portfolios delivered double-digit annual returns.’
    • ‘If you are in the process of buying the roof over your head, then it forms part of your investment portfolio.’
    • ‘If, on the other hand, the taxpayer has experienced a net realized gain, they should review their portfolio for any investments with unrealized losses.’
    • ‘The technique remains a primary tool for making investment decisions and managing portfolios.’
    • ‘Holding foreign investments inside your portfolio is great, but there may be some tax consequences lurking in the background that you are unaware of.’
    • ‘Dividend reinvestment plans, or DRIPs, allow investors to build investment portfolios by reinvesting dividends into more shares.’
    • ‘Residents are also less able to diversify their investment portfolios internationally or to make use of exchange rate futures and swap markets.’
    • ‘These college savings plans allow you to invest in a portfolio of mutual funds on behalf of a child, grandchild or other beneficiary.’
    • ‘To be sure, much global finance reflects growing investment portfolios, some doubtless with a speculative component.’
    • ‘Therefore, we should be reviewing our investment portfolio regularly regardless of the time of year.’
    • ‘Even so, direct investment into a portfolio of shares, bonds and cash spread in the manner described above would be administratively burdensome.’
    • ‘We'll let you decide whether this type of investment suits your portfolio needs.’
    • ‘I used to have a fair portion of my investment portfolio allocated to bonds.’
    • ‘In fact we should review our investment portfolios regularly, and be prepared to weed out any share that could look outlandishly expensive.’
    • ‘While anyone can make money when markets rise, it takes considerable skill to minimise the damage to investment portfolios when markets fall.’
    • ‘Like most stock investments, the age-based portfolios have been hammered this year, but some fared better than others.’
    • ‘Sometimes investors may even add rare coins, art, real estate and other off-the-beaten-track investments to their portfolios.’
    • ‘Having gold inside their investment portfolios has given these investors a feeling of security and comfort, and who would argue with that?’
    • ‘Whether gold deserves to be included in an investment portfolio is an interesting question.’
    investments, shares, holdings, securities, equities, bonds
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1A range of products or services offered by an organization.
      ‘an unrivalled portfolio of quality brands’
      • ‘Well the company has woken up to the fact that if there are going to thrive on a smaller number of people producing more products then we must be able to offer a portfolio of skills and be flexible.’
      • ‘These offers, along with our technically sound product portfolio, a deep bench of people, and value-added service, will be our fundamentals.’
      • ‘Organising talent, keeping their portfolios and hiring out services to television companies and advertising agencies can be a lucrative business.’
      • ‘When one starts looking at the implications of a diversified portfolio of services, as is the case for most transport operators, we talk of economies of scope.’
      • ‘Ultimately, companies wishing to instill more discipline in the R&D process are out to rationalize their product portfolios.’
      • ‘Now the firm has warned profit margins would remain under pressure until its product portfolio was stronger.’
      • ‘Brand loyalty at the high end of the vehicle market is quite strong, and several luxury brands have developed product portfolios that appeal to a wide range of shoppers.’
      • ‘I liaise with end-users, resellers and partners to see how we can improve our portfolio of products and services.’
      • ‘It would not be possible, said opponents of the proposal, to combine a vast range of products and services, including the portfolios of companies previously acquired.’
      • ‘The group's objective is simple: to offer a portfolio of services that will have a significant impact on the communities in which they operate.’
      • ‘He added that the assurance that the enlarged portfolio of products and services and access to a broader target market base will offer growth opportunities to all investors.’
      • ‘And, we have a common commitment to deliver integrated solutions, open systems and architecture, and the broadest portfolio of products and services.’
      • ‘Structure, process and outcomes together should define the portfolio of clinical services offered in teaching hospitals.’
      • ‘Irish organisations look for a broad portfolio of business products.’
      • ‘As dairy processors expand their product and package portfolios to offer consumers more variety, the up-side potential may become even greater.’
      • ‘This, he says, will be achieved by offering innovative and differentiated service portfolios and increasing emphasis on customer care and support.’
      • ‘I would like to see us become even bigger in the future, and I see us growing and being able to offer a much wider portfolio of health products in the next few years.’
      • ‘Our objective is to pay cash for the right portfolio and then offer it for sale on a retail, regional basis.’
      • ‘As Young explained: ‘We're always looking for opportunities to add a brand name to our portfolio.’’
      • ‘Knowledge of halo effects is crucial in determining how to allocate advertising funds across a portfolio of products.’
  • 3[as modifier] Denoting or engaged in an employment pattern which involves a succession of short-term contracts and part-time work, rather than the more traditional model of a single job for life.

    ‘portfolio careers allow women to balance work with family’
    • ‘‘These people who write about portfolio work like John Gray are portfolio workers themselves and they are writing about their own lives,’ he said.’
    • ‘Other items for future discussion include temporary additional notional half days and accommodation of portfolio careers, including the ability to work flexibly.’
    • ‘Many doctors have portfolio careers - for example, having a post in general practice and in a hospital.’
    • ‘In the era of downsizing and portfolio careers, work no longer provides a secure economic or social identity.’
    • ‘The other term I coined a few years ago was portfolio career - portfolio jobs and portfolio workers - and that seems to have become accepted as a respectable thing to be.’
    • ‘The people who have got portfolio careers that I know, more often are women than men.’
  • 4The position and duties of a Minister or Secretary of State.

    ‘he took on the Foreign Affairs portfolio’
    • ‘However, he has been retained as a Cabinet minister without a portfolio.’
    • ‘The portfolio needs a Minister who will listen, who will talk straight, and who will not try to pull the wool over anybody's eyes.’
    • ‘He began as treasurer in 1960 while still playing and later added the job of secretary to his portfolio.’
    • ‘The consensus was reflected in a report of a cabinet committee, comprising six ministers with major portfolios, set up in 1958 to review Land Commission policy.’
    • ‘Timbul was given a position without a portfolio as an expert staff assigned to the minister.’
    • ‘Some of those payments were considered to be illegal, and after all that, having said he had done nothing wrong, 6 days later he resigned from the portfolio of Minister of Tourism.’
    • ‘I know I would want it spent on special education more than anything else, if I were thinking in my own portfolio as Associate Minister of Education.’
    • ‘So, I guess it's true to say that if the lines of communication are open, then that's a positive outcome from the change of ministerial portfolios.’
    • ‘If one listens carefully to the exact wording of that Minister's last two answers, one can only conclude that he is reading directly from the Minister of Police's portfolios.’
    • ‘It is the one portfolio that means a Minister is out of the country all the time.’
    • ‘All the evidence, though, shows that he is the most divisive and untrustworthy minister the portfolio has had for as long as most of us can remember.’
    • ‘The rest got a few token Secretary of State portfolios.’
    • ‘This Minister might have his portfolio back, but he is certainly on a very short leash.’
    • ‘At the time he was State Department Deputy Secretary with the portfolio in WMD and Nuclear Proliferation.’
    • ‘He would like an economic portfolio or even the position of minister for education.’
    • ‘From the late 1750s dukes and peers were found holding ministerial portfolios alongside the professionals of the robe.’
    • ‘Some Cabinet ministers whose portfolios are related to the forum's subject did not attend the meeting.’
    • ‘Despite one minister relinquishing his ministerial portfolio, the country is still not confident that there is integrity in public life.’
    • ‘The prime minister holds 19 portfolios, including royal palace affairs, defense, and foreign affairs.’
    • ‘The matter is appropriately being handled by a portfolio Minister - the Minister for the Environment.’


Early 18th century: from Italian portafogli, from portare carry + foglio leaf (from Latin folium).